Shopping guide

Loft (homeware, kitchenware, stationery)

Probably my favourite shopping find – a big department store with several branches, including Shibuya and Kichijoji (and Kyoto). Stocks homeware, kitchenware, stationery, accessories and much more – you could spend hours browsing it all.
Loft website

Opening Ceremony (clothing)
Quirky designer department store in Shibuya, each of the 8 floors bespokely designed. Great just to look around but the prices are quite high.
Opening Ceremony Tokyo website

Muji (homeware, stationery, food, clothing)
Mujis are everywhere in Tokyo, they are generally bigger than UK ones with a lot more range – including tons of crazy packet foods alongside the usual homewares and clothing. Some, like the Shinjuku one, have cafes which are really lovely. The prices are a bit lower than in the UK so it’s good if you want to stock up on stuff.
Muji website

LaForet (clothing, crafts)
A gorgeous mall in Harajuku, full of boutiques from Japanese and international designers. My favourites are the bead shop and underwear/pajama shop. It even has a Topshop, with similar stock to the UK (but more expensive).
LaForet website

Lumine (clothing)
A mall that sits over Shinjuku station. I didn’t look around the whole place but it looks to carry some nice clothing, accessories and shoes.
Lumine website

Tokyu Hands (homeware, crafts, bags)
A one-stop mall that sells everything from plumbing supplies to knitting yarn. The floor guides often aren’t in English so you have to rummage a bit to find what you’re after; worth a nose around, though. The Ikebukuro branch has a huge pet section with cat cafe on the top floor.
Tokyu Hands website

Graniph (clothing)
Stocks cool designer-y t-shirts for men and women. The best branch is in Harajuku.
Graniph website

Uniqlo (clothing)
Branches are everywhere and generally bigger than UK ones; prices are lower than the UK so good to stock up on basics. The UT concept store in Harajuku is pretty cool.
Uniqlo website

Forever 21 (clothing)
A big branch of the US store in Harajuku – packed with teenage girls but good for cheap fashionable clothes.
Forever 21 website

Kiddyland (toys, stationery, gifts)
A super toy store in Harajuku with zones dedicated to different characters, from Hello Kitty to Studio Ghibli. Also stocks quirky collectibles and stationery on the top floor.
Kiddyland website

MOMA Design Store (design, homeware, stationery)
Housed in a classy building above the Chanel shop in Omotesando, this store stocks international design classics and also has a small art gallery with changing exhibitions. It’s pricey but fun to look around.
MOMA Design Store website

Oriental Bazaar (souvenirs, gifts)
A gift and souvenir shop that was full of tourists, but it isn’t tacky or overpriced – it has a nice selection of gifts from bags to coasters to woodblock prints. Located in Omotesando/Harajuku.
Oriental Bazaar website

Mighty Soxer (socks)
Branches of this sock shop are dotted all over the place – there are good ones in Kichijoji and on Takeshita Dori in Harajuku. It’s from the same people as Tabio in the UK, the same quality but a lot cheaper – pick up 3 pairs of cute socks for Y1000 (about £6). They also sell tights, leggings and slippers.
Mighty Soxer website

Super Potato (videogames, retro)
A retro videogame mecca in Akihabara. It sells used vintage games from SNES to Dreamcast as well as a few plushy toys, and has a small arcade of vintage game machines on the top floor.
Super Potato website

Aso Bit City (videogames)
Stocks a whole load geeky manga figurines, also some San-x stuff and cute stationery, and has a good selection of gashapon (machines which dispense a small toy for around Y200; I got a Mario mushroom). Located in Akihabara near the station.
Aso Bit City website

Mandarake (retro, toys)
Also in Akihabara, stocks mostly vintage figurines, toys and games.
Mandarake website

Sunshine City (mall)
A huge mall in Ikebukuro. The fashion shops are mostly a bit tacky but there’s a Hello Kitty store and Studio Ghilbi merch store. It’s attached to a branch of Tokyu Hands and nearly next door to a big Sanrio store.
Sunshine City website

Okadaya (fabric, crafts)
Lovely fabric store in Shinjuku with a great range of cute fabrics, from Alice in Wonderland to pretty florals.
Okadaya website

Nippori – Texile Town (fabric, crafts)
A whole area filled with fabric shops, heaven for crafters. The biggest selection is in Tomato but the smaller stores on the walk up have some little treasures too.
Map of Textile Town

Kyoto

Ninenzaka / Sannensaka (gifts, souvenirs)
Ancient stone steps leading down from the Kiyomizudera temple, lined with cute shops selling locally-crafted items like ceramics, fans, and sweets. Great for gifts and souvenirs.

Nishiki Market (food)
A covered-over food market selling everything from dried fish to sweets. Also houses some good cafes and restaurants.
Japan Guide to Nishiki Market

Teramachi Street (clothing, souvenirs, fabric)
Another covered shopping street that runs perpendicular to Nishiki Market. Most of the shops are tacky as hell but there is a good ukiyo-e (woodblock) print shop and a lovely fabric shop called Nomura Tailor House so it’s worth a walk down. There are also some small but attractive shrines in the area which jar a bit with all the modern shops.

Mina (department store)
A department store of mostly women’s fashion on Kawaramachi Street. Also has a 2-floor branch of Uniqlo on the top, and a very cute homeware/kichenware shop.
Mina website

WeGo
Cool vintage warehouse off to the west of Kawaramachi-dori, near Loft.
WeGo website

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